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These brand new dads are on the start of one of the most thrilling and rewarding journey’s of their lives. WOW met a few fathers to talk about what it means to be a parent of a daughter, their beliefs and values… and a letter to their daughter that says it all!

Ajeev Shrestha
Director, Laxmi Plastics

Dear Zoya,

It seems like yesterday your mum told me about you, from that day onwards my life has a new purpose, which is to make myself better for you. You have already taught me a lot: I have learnt to be more patient, cherish precious moments with you, to be happier, spend more time at home and to be gentler. It has been five months that you came into our life. I am still amazed at the little things that you do, and every little thing you do melts my heart.

As a father there are few things I would want you to know when you grow up (which is so fast – where has time gone?). You will be expected to behave like a lady or in certain ways because of your gender but do not be obligated by it. Do not let the society or the world tell you how you should behave just because of your gender. Pink is not your colour, it is just like any other colour. You are free to choose your favourite color. I will never constrain you with gender roles. But even though I may be modern and progressive, I want you to follow a few values and morals that our elders have taught us.  Morals and discipline makes us human. Always respect others, no lying, and no cheating, help others when you can in ways you can, respect all kinds of jobs (which are legal), stay humble, be honest and truthful, be nice to people you meet, be fair and ethical. Always do the right thing and stand up for what is right. There may come times when taking the wrong way will be much easier and faster but Zoya, remember that tough situations do not last, but tough people do.

Getting good grades and excelling in academics is not everything, it is a part of life like so many other things. We would be more than happy if you do just the basics if you wish to. If you wish to excel in studies, that would be okay too. We want you to be happy and pursue what makes you happy. While choosing a career, explore as much as you can and after you find the right fit that you love, just go all in!  Of course you will make mistakes, but you should learn from your mistakes, we will be there to support you when you want to get up after falling. You can fall as many times but get up every time; do tell us if you need a hand. I am sure you will do great.

Learn to stay grounded. You may become very successful in your career and in life however always be grounded, stay away from ego and arrogance.  Learn to be stupid and happy. It is okay to love deeply, to fall when you try, to fail, to be goofy, to make a fool out of yourself. Always be true to yourself, its easier being you than pretending to be something you are not.

Greatest thing a father can do for a kid is love their mother. That I undoubtedly I do. She is strong, independent, fierce, opinionated, committed to her responsibilities, my pillar and one day I would want you to be like her. The day you were born I was so scared and nervous while she sat there confident. I knew that she was scared too but she had a calm demeanor so that I would not freak out (more than I already was).

Zoya, I will try and be your best friend and try and be the cool dad in which I may or may not succeed, but I will always be a shoulder to cry on when the world has turned their back on you.

Lastly, remember that your mum and I will always love you.

What is the first thing you did when you found out you were becoming a dad and having a daughter?

I panicked, and then got excited. My wife wanted to keep it a secret for few months but I was so happy and excited that I called my parents, sister and some of my friends within half an hour.

What were your biggest fears about being a father?

That when she grows up and gets married she is going to leave me. That I may not be ready to be responsible for another life, and that I am going to screw it up.

How do you spend time with your toddler?

I play and talk with her. She is really active and loves it. Even though she is just four months she tries to talk a lot, sometimes it is her cooing that wakes us up. She is my alarm clock too, apart from being my lifeline and my world.

How have you changed since becoming a father?

I just cannot wait to get home, so nowadays I always go home early. Also I guess I have become happier. Whenever I see her all my sorrows and stress vanishes. When I see her smile all I feel is the calmness that I need in my life.

How do you think you will react to your daughter’s first boyfriend?

I guess there will be rounds of interviews and a lot of background checking and may be some online and offline stalking *laughs*

What are the 5 things that every new dad should know?

  • It’s hard and your life will completely changed but all for good
  • Learn how to change diapers!
  • Carry her to calm her if she is agitated.
  • Make funny faces or gestures, she will definitely laugh. It works every time.
  • Spend as much time as you can with her, these times are precious.